When I’m travelling, particularly alone, I like to try to get out and meet new people. Finding events on Facebook or Meetup is perfect for this. This week, while in Barcelona, I attended a meetup hosted by a sommelier from England to taste my way through Catalunya wines.
What/Where is Catalunya?
Catalunya or Catalonia is an autonomous region in Spain. Barcelona is the capital of this region. They have their own language, Catalan, but of course, Spanish is also spoken. So far in Barcelona, most people I’ve interacted with either speak or understand English quite well, making getting around very easy.
The Catalunya wine tasting meetup was held at Vivinos. This is a wine shop near the Gothic Quarters in central Barcelona. The tasting cost 10 euros to participate and roughly 30 people attended. The attendees were from all over. Some locals and others from England, France, and other parts of Europe. There was also a few Americans and I was the only Canadian. I was also one of the first ones there, hence the picture of the empty table set up.
We tasted four wines throughout the evening. Two whites and two reds. All from different regions of Catalunya. The host and sommelier, Alice, would tell us about each wine before we tasted it. The region it came from, we discussed different smells and tastes within in, and the price of each bottle.
First Taste: Cava
The first wine was a sparkling one, so a fun way to start. Not nearly as acidic as many sparkling wines but still quite dry. Cava is made the same way as Champagne and occasionally called “the poor man’s Champagne.” This wine tasted surprisingly good and costs less than 5 euros.
Second wine: Chardonnay
Though I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan – I quite liked this one. The sommelier even said this wine is the white wine that red drinkers like. It is oaked, in the barrels for a short period of time and the grapes come from a higher altitude region which supposedly give it a less “buttery” taste and a more fruity one.
Third wine: Trepat
I had never heard of the varietal “Trepat” before this tasting. This grape is indigenous to Catalunya. Personally, I found that it smelled kind of weird, but tasted pretty good.
Fourth wine: Red Blend
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Red, Samso, and Syrah varietals. A young wine that spends 4 months in French and American oak barrels. This one was my favourite. It was fuller than the other red and frankly just tasted better.
I like wine, but I’m no expert. I almost always prefer drier reds and this case was no different. During this meetup the host also had a mingling time when she had us get up and talk to new people (during their change from white to red). When travelling solo, meeting new people is important. You don’t feel as lonely and it’s fun! Plus, wine makes a great social lubricant 🙂
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